Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Who Built the Moon?

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Who Built the Moon?

When the Gallagher brothers aren't fighting or being heralded by the British Press as the greatest band of all time they occasionally manage to get in the studio and create something. Not to be outdone in terms of sibling rivalry both Gallagher boys have released new records two weeks within each other, likely out of spite alone. It's crazy at this point nearly 20 years after they broke out on to the scene that they still fucking hate each others guts this much, but that's how this one has always shaken out. Noel to his credit has largely stayed out of the insults and jabs, publicly at least, and allow Liam to spout off mostly brushing it aside. Noel has gone into more experimental realms even including someone playing the damn scissors (yes scissors) live. Brit-Pop is at the center of this record, but it grows and changes wildly from there becoming often an all out rock extravaganza. You can really sense the live energy from the beginning of this record; it feels like the PolyPhonic Spreee or something, just a menagerie of sounds and colors all coming together into something vivid and distinct. However the one thing that somewhat drags the album down is the adherence to the alternative rock style that made Oasis popular in the first place. Noel's singing voice is so different from his brother and in a way you miss it because Noel sounds so generic. With a really stellar vocal someone who knows how to bend and shape their voice with this pretty damn good music would be a real benefit but as it is you just want there to be more here.

In terms of rock music however this is some of the best stuff we've heard this year. It is free form but tight and has this real sense of shimmer and shine to it. "Interlude" is such a pretty song right out in front that you can't help but be wrapped up in it. The same can be said for "If Love is the Law" except the lyrics for that song are cringy as hell. "The Man Who Built The Moon" has this really otherworldly feel to it, at least as spacey as rock music can get with these wailing sounds blaring away but again it is Noel's voice that sucks you immediately out of the track. The inclusion of an interlude and an outro is also an odd and seemingly self aggrandizing choice. It also makes you think that these songs live probably have quite a bit of fat on them including more than a few jam band moments. If you really really miss Oasis maybe this is the next best thing or maybe it's Liam's record but it still feels like the two brothers are chasing something they accomplished together that they never will be able to apart.

7.0 out of 10


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